A Lithia fisherman was found dead Wednesday night on the shore of a Plant City park reservoir with significant alligator activity, including one that was shot by a deputy as it approached the body.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a ranger at Edward Medard Park and Reservoir located the body of 70-year-old Larry Webb laying partially in the water just after 7 p.m. There were no visible signs of trauma. A tackle box and fishing pole were nearby.
While at the park, deputies reported seeing alligators at sunset, including a 6- to 8-foot gator that began circling in front of the body before the medical examiner’s arrival.
A deputy, fearing the body would be tampered with, shot the alligator in the skull after it began to approach the body, the sheriff’s office said. The alligator went under water and was not seen again.
Officials will conduct an autopsy on Webb to determine the cause of death.